Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More decisions, summarization so far

The FASB and IASB met again last week to further deliberate on leases. Among the decisions reached:

Start of accounting: A lease may be signed well in advance of when the lessee takes possession of the property (particularly with property, which may need extensive construction before occupancy). The boards have affirmed that the lease does not hit the books until the "commencement" of the lease, which is normally when possession is granted. Payments made between the "inception" (signing) and "commencement" will be accounted for as prepayments (an asset that is then folded into the ROU asset at commencement). If the lease meets the definition of an "onerous contract," it is to be accounted for during the inception to commencement period according to the Contingencies accounting standards: IAS 37 and FASB Topic 450.

Tenant incentives: Lessees are to subtract these from the right-of-use asset.

Sale & leaseback: Rather than a series of tests in the Exposure Draft to determine whether a transaction qualifies for sale and leaseback accounting, the boards have now decided that as long as the sale part of the transaction meets the existing accounting requirements (under the Revenue Recognition standard) to recognize a sale, it qualifies for SLB treatment. In general, if control of the asset has passed to the buyer/lessor, it qualifies. One change from current SLB accounting is that if the seller/lessee has a gain or loss on sale, that is to be recognized immediately, rather than amortized over the life of the lease.

Leases with service components: When the service component is not clearly identified separately in the agreement, the FASB in the ED called for capitalizing the entire contract as a lease (the IASB favored split recognition). Both boards have now decided that if the purchase price of one component (lease or service) is "observable," you can calculate the split based on that.

Discount rate: FAS 13 calls for the interest rate on lessee capital leases to be based on the lease's implicit interest rate, if known, or the lessee's incremental borrowing rate (IBR). In many cases, the lessee doesn't know the lessor's implicit rate, because the expected value of the asset at lease expiration (the "unguaranteed residual") is not stated, so the IBR tends to be used. (The rate may be higher if the present value of the rents using these rates is more than the fair market value; in that case, a rate is calculated to make the PV of the rents equal to the FMV.)

The ED introduced a new term: "the rate the lessor charges the lessee." This is to be used when available, a decision now confirmed. Finally, though, the boards have defined what they meant; this can be (from the observer summary) "the lessee's incremental borrowing rate, the rate implicit in the lease, or, for property leases, the yield on the property. When more than one indicator of the rate that the lessor charges the lessee is available, the rate implicit in the lease should be used." The lessor always by definition knows this rate. If the lessee does not, the IBR is to be used.

Initial direct costs: The boards defined this as "Costs that are directly attributable to negotiating and arranging a lease that would not have been incurred had the lease transaction not been made." The intent is to have a consistent definition for a series of standards (including insurance and revenue recognition, which are at similar stages of development), though there may be slight modifications to meet specific needs of the different standards. Any such differences are intended to be explained by the boards, to maintain the overall consistency.

IDCs are to be capitalized by both lessees and lessors, by adding them to the right-of-use asset and right to receive lease payments, respectively.

Summarization: The IASB staff has prepared a detailed description of the impact on the ED of the new decisions by the boards. This describes both the confirmed decisions and the changes, with links to IASB observer notes for each.

Thanks to the IASB for their podcast and to Asset Finance International for their summary.

No comments:

Post a Comment